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commentary of Willamette Week Story
Truly inspiring to see the great story of Deva in the pages of Willamette Week. How brave this solitary man is to push news reporters from the view of a protest. What right do they have to be there? what right do they have to show these protests to the world? After all, everyone reads independent media sources and is too smart to pay attention to Corporate Media Vultures, Right?
Actually, this is not so. With the actions of people like Deva, many people may not get to see that indeed, there is a healthy anti-war and anti-imperialism movement growing in the United States. Media outlets may feel that since it appears dangerous to approach these protest, they can simply report from a distance, even from a helicopter, and never interview a single participant.
We may not trust the people behind NBC, ABC, etc. but they are the only way many people will see this.
Please don't censor my 'dissent against the dissenters' message, a practice that I have heard is getting more common on Portland Indymedia.
Thank You

address: address: portland, downtown

You are misinformed! 29.Apr.2003 14:00

StevetheGreenanarchist

Brian-

The groundswell of anger and frustration against the lies and half truths that "are" the corporate media, did not begin and end with Deva or Spark and/or Portland Indymedia.

How many protests and other events do I and others have to attend only to go home that evening to watch the corporate media distort the facts about what happened yet again?

How many times must we endure their presence in the midst of a grass roots upsrising that is necessary in large part because of their refusal to report fairly, accurately, and completely to begin with?

How many Brian?

When I see someone holding a "fuck the corporate media" sign in the background, I can only applaud.

Perhaps your own inability to see what the problem is (much like Nick Budnick from WW) is the reason you see the anger and frustration that is spewed at the corporate media as being misplaced or counter productive.

Whatever, your post revealed your ignorance.
Look into a subject a little more before you embarass yourself next time.

Peace!

hello 29.Apr.2003 14:13

friend

I know what you think and it seems like logic to you but you do-not know or understand fully the truth aboutwho owns the press. It is multinational corporations who enforce u.s. imperialism. The news covers the protest yes but in a way that pushes their agenda. Only show nuts downplay the size do not show the police oppression the enforces of capitalist greed. They wont even show you any dead iraqi's, yet it is a task not to. The press lies you cannot tell the difference between the news and the comercials shown during the news, it is all emeotional pornography. learn about COINTELPRO then we shall talk again.

In Brian's defense 29.Apr.2003 14:36

heimdallr

I think Brian here has a point. As long as we aren't letting the coporate media personnel interfere with our actions, there's no reason not to let them see what we want the the rest of the public to see.

Maybe instead of blocking corporate reporters, we could all put the web addresses of news sources such as indymedia on big cards and keep them prominently displayed where it will be hard to keep them out of the shot.

Brian's right--by blocking cameras we only deny ourselves an audience. Probably the most common propaganda tactic used to dismiss dissident activities is to present them as the actions of a marginal, isolated minority (undercount demonstrators, emphasize less-than-rational behavior). Simply making it known that dissent is occurring represents a powerful counter to this tactic, especially if we can advertise alternative information sources. The point of demonstrations is publicity, after all.

Seriously, how hard would it be to print up 10 or 20 poster boards with the indymedia URL on them and assign a few people to circulate through demo crowds following the TV cameras and making themselves a constant piece of the background? Yes, they're going to portray any event the way the people who pay them for ad space want it portrayed, but that doesn't mean they aren't (or can't be) serving certain of our interests as well.

Remember "Don't hate the media, become the media."

Great Idea, heimdallr 29.Apr.2003 14:46

Dick Crudlick

I like it!

the point of demonstrations 29.Apr.2003 15:46

margaret

I'm not going to argue that your idea is invalid, but I personally don't wish to see it adopted. and I think that it comes down to a single idea that we differ on -- you hold that the purpose of a demonstration is publicity.

I would say that there are different times when then that idea is true or untrue, and personally I am most interested in times when that is untrue. The reason I protest is to empower myself to understand things experientially instead of through living a mediated life. I protest to be able to directly influence things that concern me and to create an experience.

I say that the purpose of the protest is for the protester, or perhaps those who are directly influenced by the energy of the protests, not those who watch it on TV [or read it on indymedia]. not that I believe that indymedia shouldn't cover these events for informational purposes, but to go to these protests simply for the purpose of broadcasting the event contributes to the society of the spectacle in a way that makes me very uncomfortable.

i also feel that if a critique of media, specifically pro-cultural-imperialism media, is lacking in your socially progressive critique, then you are missing certain important aspects of what is needed to enact real change in the world.
and I feel the sooner we stop empowering the corporate media to guide our movement however it wants, the sooner we can start working towards a world in which people feel empowered to take charage of their own lives and accountability.

this is not meant to tell you whats what, of course, but only the opinion that has led me, and presumably others, into the courses of action we have taken.

corporate media can be usurped 29.Apr.2003 15:47

approriate the media

While the corporate media does usually distort what happens at these protests, the fact that some local stations carried live what happened on Day X meant that tens of thousands of folks who weren't there could witness the strong opposition to the war. Now, until alternative media can reach all of those people, its just not smart to prevent the corporate media from getting the images that we want to see broadcast. Sure, they will try and frame the story in a corporate way, and lie (I'm not naive), but images of protestors getting pepper sprayed and betaen makes the po po look bad.

Becoming the media can also involve approriating the corporate media. But if it makes you feel good to yell "fuck the corporate media," then by all means go ahead. I mean isn't that what its all about-- expressing your personal anger, not actually reaching the millions of suckers who only see corporate media.

off base 29.Apr.2003 16:23

jesse

Brian you said: "Please don't censor my 'dissent against the dissenters' message, a practice that I have heard is getting more common on Portland Indymedia."

This practice has never been common nor is it becoming more common. Do this quick calculation:

Number of post hidden (note these can still be viewed)
-----------------------------------------------------
Number of posts (including comments) to PDX IMC

Result of this division is a good measure of the commonality volunteers hiding posts. I am guessing the result is somewhere in the range of 0.002 to 0.003. That is 0.2% to 0.3%. This is a VERY generous estimate...erroring on the side of more hidden posts.

ARGH! 29.Apr.2003 16:47

REALLY tired of this

Is anyone besides me tired of all the air play WW has been getting over this? Can we move on here? Yikes.

Actually, I think it's good if people want to have a dialogue about the issue of corporate media. There are lots of different thoughts on this. I personally lean toward ignoring the brainsucking fleabags, especially after spending months reading about how the corporate media allowed (allows) themselves to be willingly manipulated by the Reagan administration over Nicaragua, not to mention how all the major news outlets are now firmly in the control of multinational corporations.

Anyone ever heard of the Office of Public Diplomacy? I hadn't. It was a front set up in the 1980s by the CIA to disseminate lies to the American people. Even after discovering the lies, the American corporate media continued to help disseminate them.

The books I have been reading as part of a research project are mostly detailing Reagan-era lies manufactured and distributed in the US media concerning Iran-Contra-gate. But they could have been written today, about the bush govt and the dissemination of lies concerning whether or not Iraq is really a threat to the US, whether or not bush is even really the president. This administration is using the same formula -- convince the people of a "terrorist" threat abroad, plant stories, then lie and lie and lie, and cover up, and then quote your own lies. It's all fascinating reading.

There are local angles as well. How the business community controls local media, how the parent companies of local media are controlled at a higher level by the same machine that controls national outlets, etc.

There are many people who want to work with the corporate media because they know of no other way to get their story out. Getting out the story is a valid concern. But the corporate media is not going to help you. They will only distort what you say and use it to suit their own ends. The WW storis are a perfect example. As is the television reports that accuse protesters of "loitering" or "milling around," or of seeking violent encounters with the police.

I think this is a good discussion though -- whether or not to talk to the corporate media. What I don't think is so good is the continuing banter regarding WW and this set of articles. I can only guess that the people who keep posting these articles are aliases for Nick Budwhatever. I think he's interested in making some kind of name for himself and is attempting to do it here because indy readers are so much cooler than WW readers. : )

corp media vs 'independent' 30.Apr.2003 03:35

Di Kotamee

what makes this lefty rhetoric all so silly is this false dichotomy between 'corporate' and non-corporate (or 'independent' in the left lingo these days)

Just because a news source is corporate does not necessarily mean it is bad or 'tainted' anymore than just because it is non-corporate therefore it is accurate or true.

I'm not defending the WW piece, in fact I think the WW article on Portland Indy is just the kind of 'journalism' we all (unfortunately) expect on indymedia newswires - shallow and hyperbolic and personal.

If indymedia (portland and elsewhere) is to be a success, we need better reporters and better reporting that is fair and accurate.

bitching about WW does not make the WW better, and it certianly misses the point about how we can make indymedia better.

accuracy 30.Apr.2003 14:56

salaud

I don't think the important difference between corporate and and independent media is accuracy or writing style. The difference is openness and what motivates the points of view. Corporate media is a closed....independent media is more open...indymedia is wide open. Corporate media point-of-view is motivated by cash, independent media by politics/social justice and then cash, indymedia is motivated by politics and social justice alone.

See what I mean?